Ibuprofen Cardiology

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Ibuprofen (eye byoo PRO fen) is the generic name for Motrin® or Advil®. This medicine belongs to a group of drugs called NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Other brand names for this medicine are Pediaprofen® and Nuprin®.

This medicine is used to treat mild to moderate pain, inflammation, and fever. It may also be used to prevent post-pericardiotomy syndrome (PPS )after heart surgery. PPS is a reaction in the body that can cause fever and build-up of unwanted fluid around the lungs and heart.

At first, your child may be given another NSAID called Toradol® (ketorolac) by IV for 2 days after surgery. Then, your child may start taking ibuprofen by mouth. Ibuprofen should be given for 7 to 8 days as ordered by the doctor.

How to give this medicine

measuring spoons

  • Read the label carefully. Make sure you are giving your child the right dose. It is easy to confuse the many different dosage forms and strengths.
  • Give the exact dose of medicine that the doctor ordered.
  • Stay with your child until he or she has swallowedthe dose of medicine.
  • If this medicine is a liquid, shake it before using it.
  • Use a pediatric measuring device (available at the pharmacy) or a measuring spoon to measure the exact dose (Picture 1). Do not measure liquid medicines in kitchen spoons.
  • This medicine should be given with food.
  • It is very important to finish all the medicine that is ordered. Do not stop the medicine early, even if your child is feeling better. Do not change doses or stop the medicine without talking to your child’s doctor.

If you forget to give a dose

If you forget to give a dose of this medicine, give it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, do not give the missed dose at all. Do not double the next dose. Instead, go back to your regular dosing schedule. If you have any questions about this, check with your child's doctor or pharmacist.

If a dose Is vomited

  • If your child gags or chokes and spits out the dose before swallowing it, let the child calm down. Then, give the same amount one more time.
  • Even if the medicine is thrown up (vomited) right after giving it, some of the medicine may still be in the stomach. Do not repeat the dose unless all the liquid that was given was seen.

Medicine storage

  • Store all medicine out of the reach of children.
  • Always keep medicine in the original bottle from the pharmacy.
  • Do not keep this medicine in the refrigerator. Store it at room temperature.
  • Keep this medicine away from heat or direct sunlight.
  • Do not use this medicine after the expiration date printed on the container.
  • When the medicine is no longer needed, mix the leftover medicine with an unwanted material, like coffee grounds. Then, put the mixture into a container or a bag that will not leak. Throw the container away in the trash where children and pets cannot reach it.

Drug – Nutrient interactions

  • Do not give over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen, aspirin, antacids, or cold medicines, without checking with your child’s doctor or pharmacist first.
  • If your child is taking any other medicine or herbal supplements, tell the doctor and pharmacist. Certain medicines should not be taken with ibuprofen.


  • If your child is allergic to ibuprofen, aspirin, or any other NSAID, he or she should not take this medicine.
  • You may get information from the pharmacy about the risk of heart problems when a person takes this medicine. It is better for your child to take this medicine for a short while than to get sick with PPS.
  • There is also a risk your child’s stomach can bleed while taking this medicine. This is more likely if your child has had ulcers or bleeding problems or takes a blood thinner or other medicines that can hurt the stomach. Your child should always take ibuprofen with food, milk, or formula.
  • Your child may get skin reactions, which may be severe. Contact your child’s doctor at the first sign of redness on the skin and a rash.

Possible side effects

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding easily
  • Change in kidney function
  • Severe skin rash

Ibuprofen - Cardiology (PDF)

HH-V-191 6/06, Revised 7/16 Copyright 2006, Nationwide Children’s Hospital